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What to Do With a Christmas Tree: 20 Crafty Recycling Projects

After the holidays, don’t just toss your Christmas tree! Instead, try these crafty and fun Christmas tree recycling ideas. Here’s what to do with a Christmas tree to help you immortalize the spirit of the season all year long.

ideas for recycling christmas tree

There really is nothing like a fresh tree for Christmas. It smells wonderful and brings some of the outdoors inside for a short while. When Christmas is over, it’s usually time to hack it up, but it seems to me that there is a more fitting end for something so special.

Not one to waste nature’s bounty, I’ve used my tree to make many creative projects over the years and found even more Christmas tree crafts from other creatives to share with you. Here is a list of my favourite crafty Christmas tree recycling projects to give an old tree new life.

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Christmas Tree Crafts and Recycling Projects

Sometimes, it’s hard to get rid of the Christmas tree. There are times when I struggle to pack up the holidays and get rid of the year’s tree.

If the Christmas tree holds lots of sentimental value for you as well, there are plenty of creative ways to recycle the tree when her job is complete indoors. Here are 20 ideas on what to do with a Christmas tree after the holidays.

1. Branch Coat Rack

If you’re looking for things to make with branches from your Christmas tree, this coat rack keeps the branches’ original natural look.

Take some of your more uniquely shaped and strong branches and build your own coat rack. This fun DIY project looks store-bought and is a handy accessory for the front or back door. Read the instructions on creating this branch coat rack with only a few tools!

White branch coat rack homemade

2. Miniature Twig Reindeer Ornament

From one Christmas tree to the next, this reindeer can allow the evergreen to live its next life and continue the holiday spirit. Miniature and adorable, this reindeer uses all sizes of twigs and branches to create a wooden ornament or planter decoration.

Here’s how to make this wooden reindeer for yourself.

Moose made out of recycled christmas tree twigs on a red pavers

3. Wood Slice Flowers

I love how versatile these wood-slice flowers are. They could work outside in the garden or on a porch. The flowers would also look great inside as a wall hanging or Christmas decoration. Wood slices are easy to make, and they can be used for a ton of projects.

For those looking for things to make with branches, you can use the thicker branches along with the trunk itself to get all the different sizes for these flowers.

Wood Slice Flowers with a white backdrop

4. Wood Ornaments

When people ask me what to do with a Christmas tree, I always suggest these ornaments first. Ornaments made from an old Christmas tree could commemorate a special Christmas, such as a baby’s first Christmas or a first Christmas together. They are also a frugal way to get a bunch of ornaments to fill up next year’s tree.

I made these wooden ornaments from a very special tree for Kiddo and me. That Christmas, we went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down our tree ourselves. So we wanted to hold onto it long after the tree was gone!

what to do with a Christmas tree

5. Twig Wreath

Many of you probably know I am a huge wreath fan. I have one for pretty much every occasion! I love this simple twig wreath because you could use it any time of the year, and its simplicity makes it an easy addition to most home styles.

Round twig wreath on a black door

6. Twig Flower Pots

These twig flower pots give me major cottage vibes! Oftentimes, pots are more expensive than the flowers inside them. These are a great way to enhance plastic pots without breaking the budget on fancy clay ones from the garden centre.

Twig flower pot with white flowers in front of a window

7. Floral Pyrography

Once you’ve tried pyrography, you won’t want to stop! This is the next step to doodling: decorating wood with a heated pen that burns designs into it. The result is gorgeous and makes for beautiful coasters, ornaments, or décor.

For these wood slices, I made coasters with botanical-inspired designs. One of the best Christmas tree crafts, they became wonderful personalized gifts for friends and family the following holiday season.

Close up of someone wood burning homemade coasters as a Christmas tree craft

8. Twig Push Pins

Who knew push pins could look so good? The little ones would work great on a corkboard, and the larger ones would work for hanging up décor and artwork around the house. They are a super quick project and require very few tools.

closeup of wooden twig push pins with green backdrop

9. Affordable Wall Art

Why not make your wood stand out all on its own? If you have a section of the wall you are unsure what to do with, wood slices can fit in just about any space. Cut them as big or small as you want and arrange them in any pattern.

This artwork would look great in a cabin or for those who love a rustic style inside the home.

Round wood cuts as decor on a blank wall

10. Branch Chandelier

If you are wondering what to do with a Christmas tree and are willing to go big, this one is for you! A branch chandelier is a great way to combine nature with sophistication. Plus, the creator of this chandelier made the whole thing for just $35!

Homemade tree branch chandelier over a dining area

11. Rustic Windchime

Windchimes have always been one of my favourite additions to the garden. Their soft jingle in the breeze is calming and fun to listen to outdoors. Making one yourself is easy, simply use a branch as the top of the windchime.

I’ve made a few windchimes over the years, including this beaded version.

things to make with branches from a Christmas tree include this rainbow beaded windchime

12. Planter Ornaments

Using branches from your Christmas tree and a few items foraged from the garden, it is super simple to replicate some popular planter ornaments. After loving some planter decorations in a garden centre but not loving the price tag, I set my sights on making my own!

Take a look at some of the rustic decorations and see if it is something you can do yourself. Wood slices, pinecones, and snowflakes are all easy to make out of wood, using both the trunk and smaller branches of the Christmas tree.

holiday planter ornaments in the snow

13. Branch Swing Shelves

Bringing nature indoors gives you the perfect blend of rustic and chic. I used branches and some good-quality rope to make these swing shelves. It’s a very simple Christmas tree craft, but it looks like a million bucks.

I used these branches topped with stuffed animals to decorate my son’s nursery, but let your imagination go wild!

branch swing shelves in a nursery with stuffed animals

14. Outdoor Lamp

I hope you have the perfect trunk or branch for this unique idea of what to do with a Christmas tree. Lamps are a wonderful way to light up the garden at night, providing softened light to enjoy the outdoors in the evening. I made this outdoor lamp using a branch as the stand for my lamp.

Outdoor lamp using a tree branch as the pole

15. Rustic Twig Frame

You don’t even need a frame to create this project. Gather twigs from your tree, then place them together to make your own DIY photo frame. Why not frame a photo from this year’s Christmas?

twig frame with baby picture

16. Branch Coasters

Simple and effective, branch coasters are a must-have for the coffee table and have remained one of my favourite upcycled Christmas tree crafts over the years. Leave them plain or decorate them…it is totally up to you! Varnish and stain are essential in making these coasters pop out.

collage of branch coasters made from a Christmas tree

17. Wood Slice Mirror

Once again, never underestimate the power of wood slices! By circling a mirror with wood slices, it went from a plain hanging to a feature piece in the home. The careful placement of the slices really makes this project stand out.

mirror with wood slices around the circumference

18. Starburst Wall Art

Don’t be scared to play with wood slices and branches. By careful whittling and cutting, you can create a myriad of shapes and designs to display as art on your wall or elsewhere throughout the home. Creativity is everything!

Vivaterra Wood Slice Starburst Wall Art behind a home bar area

19. Twiggy Gnomes

I go crazy for anything miniature. These twiggy gnomes look adorable in garden pots, indoors or out. They can be used for Christmas, but I think they look great year-round as a pseudo mini garden gnome.

The supplies are small on this one, with just a little bit of paint and twigs from your Christmas tree, making it one of the best things to make with small branches.

small painted twiggy gnomes in a garden

20. Bug Hotel Fence Art

A successful garden is one that is full of helpful critters. To encourage bees, ladybugs, and other beneficial bugs to your garden, a bug hotel is a great idea. This bug hotel doubles as artwork for your garden, perfect for hanging on a fence. It’s long been one of my most useful pieces of garden art, made entirely with recycled tree branches.

finished fence art made from recycled tree pieces.

By now, you should have plenty of ideas on what to do with a Christmas tree. With some creative recycling and crating, your Christmas tree can turn into something new.

Whether you’re carrying it on for next Christmas or turning it into something you can use all year, your tree will still hold some sentimental value of the time spent with family during the holidays. If you created one of my Christmas tree crafts, I would love to see it!

FAQ About Using Christmas Trees

Can you replant a cut Christmas tree without roots?

There is no way to replant a cut Christmas tree. It’s only meant to be enjoyed indoors and then gets composted or repurposed after the holiday season. But they’re still much more sustainable than buying a fake Christmas tree!

If you want to keep and replant a Christmas tree, you’ll need to use a living tree with the root ball still intact. In this case, it would be potted inside and then brought outside after the holiday,

More Crafty Projects to Try


  1. You’ve posted some fabulous ideas for recycling the trees! I’m pinning and will be looking at which ones I will do with our tree when it comes down. Thanks for sharing!!
    Debbie :)

  2. Pingback: Twelfth Night-Recycling your Christmas… « My Make Do and Mend Year

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